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Stress & Oral Habits

tooth-wearGrinding and clenching of the teeth are regular habits for most, but they can be harmful. The force produced when we grind and clench the teeth can cause them to become loose and weaken. Oversensitivity of the teeth can result from clenching and grinding of the teeth as this process can lead to loss of enamel.

Tooth Clenching and grinding can cause damage to dental works and can also cause headaches and jaw pains. Clenching and grinding of the teeth can also be called bruxing.

People can present with these signs and symptoms and not know that they are as a result of bruxing, especially if the bruxing is nocturnal. A regular visit to the dental office could reveal damaged done to the teeth by bruxing.

A dental professional can help you in breaking this habit (bruxing), and they can prescribe medications the pains and also repair damaged teeth and dental works.

Why do we grind or clench our teeth?

Stress is the leading cause of bruxing, and this affects our health in many different ways. When the teeth are not correctly aligned, it can cause grinding of the teeth. Stomach pain or skin breakouts can also cause bruxing.

Stimulants such as tobacco, caffeine, and some types of drugs can also cause clenching and grinding of the teeth.

How to manage grinding and clenching our teeth

To control bruxing, you have first to become aware of the habit. Where bruxing occurs as a result of stress, managing the stress will help get the bruxing under control. In order to make sure that the bruxing is not becoming worse, a dentist needs to monitor your teeth regularly.

In a case where there is considerable damage to the teeth or dental work, then the use of custom made nightguard might be recommended. The nightguard cushions the teeth against the forces produced and also protects the jaw joint.

In cases where all the teeth in the mouth are not in line with each other, tiny bits of enamel can be chipped off from the uneven teeth. By so doing, the force produced during grinding and clenching is spread evenly to all the teeth.

Orthodontics is one of the best treatment options for severe cases of a bad bite. Replacing missing teeth will prevent other teeth from shifting into the space of the missing teeth, thereby stabilizing your bite.

Bruxing is very common in children and should not be a source of concern as they will outgrow it.

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